The Little Things by Jay Northcote: Quick Review

little-thingssynopsisThere are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.

Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.

Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?

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Okay, so, first we have Joel; he’s sharing custody with his best friend of their three-year old daughter Evie. Even though he’s young, he’s already well established, he has a career as a teacher, a nice home for his daughter and he’s dating a slightly younger man named Dan. Even though I knew he wouldn’t end up with Dan; I liked the amicable way they ended. It wasn’t bitter and Dan didn’t turn out to be a petty, angry ex that caused problems or anything. He cared a great deal for Joel and Evie both; he was just in a different place in his life than Joel. Where Joel had to grow up quickly and had responsibilities, Dan was still 19, didn’t have kids and wanted to do kid stuff like party and stay out all night having fun….and be with other guys…It wasn’t a big deal, they weren’t exclusive and it wasn’t talked about; but it was sad when they ended because you could tell they really cared for each other. I liked that; well, not that they broke up of course, but that it was mature and amicable.

Then, as we gather from the blurb, Joel’s bestfriend and Evie’s mummy, passes away. I really like how it was perceived by Evie, a three-year old. Death is so hard to explain to a child and while I’ve had to do it myself with my own kids and their Grandma, I used Heaven and Angels and all that as explination; it kind of bothered me that Joel was all …. “She’s dead”….. I mean, she’s three, even if you don’t believe in Heaven and angels and all that, make it a little less blunt for a kid….. I mean, everyone does things differently and I understand that, but I was like… wow… okay….
Still, the way Evie handled it was spot on and I was glad for it.

Okay, so now we get to meet Liam. We run into him a couple times without anything happens; Liam is sweet and understanding, he’s honest and sincere, he was there for Joel when he needed him all of the three times they’d bumped into each other. But the last time, since Joel said he’d broken up with Dan, they agree to meet and hang out. It was slow going because of course Joel has Evie and a fulltime job, but they made it work.

I also didn’t like Joel’s mini freak out that hurt Liam; it was completely unnecessary and random; like, he used the whole thing with Dan and losing Claire, but in the end, he was the one that ended things with Dan and he felt good about it, so why was he so sad about it and freaked out when it came to Liam. I was glad Liam didn’t rush right back into things with him, I’d have wanted to lay more ground rules and be like hey dude, if you mess up again, I won’t be so forgiving….. But, Liam was too understanding for that lol.
Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed this story, I really enjoy Jay’s books and this one was no different; it was sad and sweet and heartbreaking and hopeful. I would definitely recommend it!
4 pieces of eye candy from me!

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Sunset on Turtle by Carol Lynne Lake: Release Day Review

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Winter isn’t the only chill in the air on Turtle Lake.

When Sam Burgman’s mother, Gloria, nears the end of her battle with cancer, Sam makes the hard decision to leave his job as a corporate lawyer in Miami to take his mom home to Turtle Lake, Minnesota.

Ian Mendoza takes his job as Gloria’s caregiver very seriously, but, unlike the assignments he’s taken in the past, Ian fails to maintain a professional distance when it comes to Sam. Unfortunately for Ian, Sam refuses to open his heart despite their mutual attraction.

Born and raised in Miami, Ian isn’t prepared for the frozen landscape that is Minnesota in the winter, but the chill he wants to erase is the one coming from Sam.

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Sam’s mother way dying and he knew it; he just couldn’t bring himself to accept it. After losing his father several years prior, he used It as an excuse to push people away and not let anyone get close enough to hurt him when they had to leave. Sam’s mother Gloria’s care-taker Ian had fallen in love with Sam through the stories told by Sam’s mom, but he knew that he hadn’t been around for a while and even when he was around, refused to accept the fact that his mother had precious little time left.

 
This story was heartbreaking and I wasn’t sure I was going to like Sam in the beginning, but I completely understood where he was coming from. Grief has the ability to change a person and it changed Sam. He never grieved for his father and how he had to come to terms with losing his mother as well?

 
The story between Gloria and her husband and the significance with Turtle Lake was beautiful as well, as I won’t spoil it with explanations, but it really made the story, in my opinion.

 
It was touching and heartbreaking and hopeful at times and I loved that Sam got what I felt like he needed at the end. Acceptance is a hard pill to swallow.

 
I’m also glad for Ian because I know it hurt him to be in the position he was in and I’m glad that Sam got his head out and was able to be what Ian needed him to be; afterall, he cared about Gloria a great deal as well. I wished he’d gotten to be there with her more at the end too instead of leaving Sam alone with her, I felt like he deserved that too, he was the only one there for her for so long, he didn’t even get to say goodbye to her; so that part bothered me a bit, but not enough to take anything away from the story really. He was patient and supportive and endlessly caring for not only his patient but for Sam too.

 
It was a short, touching little read and I’d recommend it, for sure. It’s turned me a bit sappy, in this review… but,it’s well worth it! Great read!

 
4 piece of eye candy for me!

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The Secrets in my Scowl by A.E. Via: Blog Tour, Teaser and Review

secrets-inmy-scowl-customdesign-jayaheer2016-finalcoversynopsis

Sparks ignite and tempers flare when a sexy, optimistic wedding planner moves his business in across the hall from a jilted, divorce lawyer’s practice.

“Look smart ass. This is the last time I’m going to remind you about breaking sections of the lease. If there’s a next time, I won’t stop until you and your frilly, white wedding shit is thrown out of here. Do you got it?!”
Wylde looked in Jacob’s pained eyes and answered in his deep voice. “Yeah, counselor. I got it.”

From high school, up until he became a successful attorney Jacob Snowden was convinced that love had it out for him. “Everyone left,” were the words he lived by. His mother, his high school sweetheart, his father, and his fiancé, all left Jacob just when he felt it was safe to let down his guard. Not any longer. Jacob was a determined man, set at keeping people at a distance. If his six foot one, military-made body didn’t scare people off, his permanent scowl surely did. At almost forty, Jacob’s social life was non-existent, but he told himself his work fulfilled him. He helped people get out of their loveless marriages. Jacob Snowden was one of the best divorce lawyers on the east coast and was damn proud of it. So, imagine his disdain when a wedding planner moves into the suite directly adjacent to his… an insanely masculine, male wedding planner.

Wylde Sterling had made quite a name for himself in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, working for a wedding planner that catered to the elite. He was known for his charm and impeccable taste. Yep, he was incredible at giving couples the wedding of their dreams. But he wanted nothing more than to plan his own. After striking out in love more times than he cared to admit, Wylde decided to start his own business in a new city, hoping Richmond would give him a fresh start. Things started out wonderfully – until he started to piss off the angry divorce attorney next door.

Wylde could see past Jacob’s mean scowl, knowing there was a reason for it. It was the man’s defense mechanism, his means of keeping people away. Everything in Wylde told him to stay away, but he believed Jacob just needed to meet a man who had been hurt as badly as he had.

 

Title:  The Secrets in My Scowl

Author A.E. Via

M/M GAY CONTEMPORARY / STANDALONE

Edited by: Tina Adamski

Cover Artist – Jay Aheer

PAGE COUNT – 312

Release Date: October 28, 2016

This story ends in an HEA and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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I am an enormous fan of this author, ever since I read the Nothing Special series and then Bounty Hunters, I knew she’d forever be a one-click for me. This one’s a bit different and no less amazing.

 
First, we have Jacob, we start with his POV til about the 8th chapter. He’s very unlucky in love, starting with his parents, then his highschool sweetheart and then his first serious boyfriend after that. His parents were selfish, especially his dad but I understood why his high-school boyfriend couldn’t do the things they promised each other; it would be hard to be in that situation. The next boyfriend Mark; I didn’t trust and didn’t like from the very beginning, he was pushy and somewhat whiney and I was glad to see him go; although I didn’t like in which the manner it happened because it was dishonest and it left Jacob more jaded than he was before. I also didn’t like Reggie-and thought that Mark got everything he had coming to him with all that.

 
Now, Jacob is the epitome of scowling, cynical, untrusting, and everyone around him seems to suffer those consequences. He’s hard and downright a lot of the time, but it’s to protect himself from getting hurt; I think everyone who’s ever had their heart broken can understand that at least a little bit. Even if they didn’t go to the extreme’s that he did. THEN, something amazing happens….

 
Wedding planner, Wylde moves his office/wedding planning business right across the hall from his divorce attorney office where he’s known for being a shark… He’s got no time for love and see’s marriages ended daily and he’s amazing at his job because, life has taught him that love is crap. Match made in…. something, I’ll say. Wylde isn’t like the typical stereotyped wedding planner; he’s big, strong and intimidating in his own way; and Jacob is attracted to him immediately, even though he keeps putting his foot in his mouth and showing everyone the seriousness of his scowl; Wylde can see right through him; he knows he’s hurting and he wants to be there for him, all the while being attracted to him as well…. He’s not had the best luck either, having had his heartbroken in a betraying way, he wouldn’t wish the hurt on anyone… he’s a great guy, understanding, patient and very much the calm to Jacob’s attitude. They have a lot in common and after an embarrassing drunken night on Jacob’s part, the two become friends/ friendly/dating.

 
Wylde is amazing for Jacob, he teaches him to be kinder and more trusting, he gets him to open up to the people in his life who are just waiting to care about him; like his secretaries and assistance at work who also really come through for him in his times of need. There were a couple times that my heart really broke for him and I really wished that he would have been able to get closure with people like his dad, or a better relationship with his mom. But, I’m so glad he made up with his one friend and let other people in. Wylde gave him hope and love and a family that he never had and I was so glad for him. From the time we met Jacob to the time the book ended, it was like meeting three different people; the person he was in the beginning, the person he turned into and then the person that Wylde helped him to become. I was so happy with all of it. It was a hard road and I really wish I could gush and gush for a couple more hours about every nuance of this story, but I don’t want to give toooo many spoilers lol, too many more at least. If you’re a fan of A.E. Via, you will not be disappointed. It was amazing and heartfelt and hopeful and I loved every second of it.

 

Don’t pass it up! 5 pieces of eye candy from me!

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meet the author

 

ae-author-picA.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors.

Visit my site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next

Amazon Buy Link: https://goo.gl/4oCCZH

AllRomance: https://goo.gl/9V0GQS

Smashwords: https://goo.gl/QScfZk

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32072126-the-secrets-in-my-scowl

Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

A.E. Bloghttp://authoraevia.com/blogfann.html

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Facebook (Friend me)https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

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When the Dust Settles by Mary Calmes: Pre-Release Day Review

when-the-dust-settlessynopsis

Glenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.

Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with his half brother, Rand Holloway, and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.

Title: When the Dust Settles
Series: Timing: Book Three
Author: Mary Calmes
Release Date: November 16, 2016
Category: Western
Pages: 107

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Ooooh, Mary Calmes… do you ever write anything less than perfect, literary adventures? If so, I’ve yet to read it….. First, let me say that I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in promise to leave an honest review; but those of you who follow my reviews, know that there is no other way I can review. I tend to be a bit ranty at times…. It’s just how it is…. Also, take note that there may be some mild spoilers…

In this one we have Glenn. It took me a minute to remember him from Stef and Rand’s book, but remember him I did. I also felt incredibly sad for him; he didn’t fit in with his family now that the big secret came out in the last book, (which I won’t spoil because if you haven’t read the last two… .pause this review and go read them! You need a little Stef and Rand in your life… everyone does!)
Although I could see where he was coming from and the notice in their relationships were different I did feel like he was a bit guarded and on edge; he was defensive and like Zach said, he was a bit sensitive. He took things to heart, thought they were insulting when the other guys didn’t mean it that way at all….Like I said, I felt for him, I could see where he was coming from but I just wanted to shake them all and make them COMMUNICATE lol it could have gotten the confusion and misinterpretations handled.

Then we had Mac; remember him? Rough around the edges and tough as nails? Well, Glenn didn’t know he was gay but sure enough, he’s not only gay but he’s had a thing for Glenn for a good long time; but it was almost impossible to get close to Glenn until Stef called in a favor and had Glenn going out on a cattle job with the group he’d fought so hard to keep a distance from.

It was hot, how Mac made Glenn change his perception on what it meant to be gay and the stereotypes he’d fit into. I liked that once Glenn let his guard down and started letting people in, we got back to the characters we know and love, like Rand and Mac.
Shout out to Richard Jenner in this one too; I love little crossover cameo’s like that….

Overall, this is your typical Mary Calmes goodness. You have hot possessive, alpha men; down and dirty sex and a little bit of sweet that’s just enough to make these guys the perfect husbands.
My only complaint is that I wish it was longer; but it could have been 600 pages and I’d felt the same way. Loved it!
I can’t wait to read more about these two and well….. all of the guys at The Red Diamond.

Forever a fan! 5 pieces of eye candy!

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Heart and Soul by Shae Connor: Release Day Review

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synopsis

Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.

Kellen Grady has known he’s gay since he was a teenager, but he’s never been that interested in dating. A professional pianist, he’s happy spending his days teaching students of all ages and his nights working and playing at an Atlanta bar and concert venue. When former pro football player Terrence Harvey and his brother buy the bar, Kellen’s thrown by the change to his routine, but he develops a quick friendship with Terrence, drawn to his sunny nature and sharp mind. Then their relationship takes a turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss. The unexpected action, though not unwelcome, leaves Kellen faced with reevaluating everything he thought he knew—about Terrence, and about himself.

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Kellan works as a piano teacher and jazz piano player at a local club for the last decade; he doesn’t really like change and is just content with how things are and they’re quite boring if I’m honest. Unfortunately, he gets a little uneasy because the little bar that he gigs at is getting new owners and he doesn’t quite know how things are going to go. Fortunately, they’re not looking to shake things up a bit but retired football pro and his lawyer brother just want to revamp a little bit but would like the house band to stay on, much to their relief.

 
Terrence is the retired football player and has a little jazz bar with his brother. They’re both incredibly good people, very nice and even though the story is told through Kellan’s POV, we get to see a lot of Terrance and his brother. Some of the dialogue was a little off but overall the pace at which Terrance and Kellan got to know each other and the way their relationship progressed was very smooth and little to not angst at all, which I appreciated.

 
I also really liked the family aspect of it. I think kids make everything better! Terrance was very close to his niece and nephews and Kellan’s sisters recent separation had them sharing their childhood home together, so that was fun. Also, both sides, Terrance and Kellan’s family were both really supportive and accepted them and loved them and that was a nice surprise. I was happy to see that.

 
Overall the story was a nice little light read, kind of short but I only mention that cuz I could have read more about these two, I wasn’t ready for it to end
4 pieces of eye candy for me!

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You Belong With Me by J.R. Loveless: Release Day Review

lovelwsssynopsis

Scott has been in love with his best friend Craig for years, but watching Craig with his manipulative boyfriend has worn Scott down, and he knows he needs a break from the pain and maybe a change of scenery and perspective. His twin sister, Karen, convinces him to spend a summer in Paris.

Karen is sick and tired of seeing Scott suffer, and she’s not going to stand for it anymore. She confronts Craig and tells him what he’s been missing by spurning Scott’s affection in favor of a jerk who mistreats him.

When Craig unknowingly breaks Scott’s heart, Craig opens his eyes—and his own heart—to the possibility of a future with Scott. He plans to use the time while Scott’s abroad to orchestrate a romantic surprise that will show Scott they belong together. But when he sees Scott with another man at the airport, Craig fears he’s too late.

Title: You Belong With Me
Author: J.R. Loveless
Release Date: November 9, 2016
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 75

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Okay… so, first, I loved the cover; it was a really good depiction of this story of young adults, guiding their way through their feelings towards one another, especially best friends Craig and Scott. Having been best friends since they were five years old, Scott didn’t want to tell Craig that he’d been in love with him for the last several years, especially since Craig was dating the douchiest of douchey guys, he was annoying and callous and he knew that Scott had had feelings for Craig and he used it to his advantage to hurt Scott.

It annoyed me to no end that Craig didn’t see it, talk about self-absorbed. He was supposed to be his best friend and he continually let his boyfriend hurt his best friend; then he done it too, more than once in this short little story and he claims to never have known Scott’s feelings nor return them. Except after faced with losing Scott and then having to let him go temporarily, then he realizes that he loved him all along. It was a headache and I didn’t feel any compassion for Craig or sympathy towards him at all. I thought Scott deserved better than him and if I’m honest, I thought they were all too young to be sleeping with each other and confessing their love for each other. Both seemed very immature.
The parts I did like… I loved how Scotts sister Karen was there for him, even if his parents never made an appearance; even after he’d been gone to Paris for two months, Karen had convinced them to go away for the weekend? The same weekend that Scott was getting back? Okay….

Karen’s boyfriend Stanley was also a nice surprise, I might have liked the story better had it been about him and Karen. Seems like he had a heartbreaking yet hopeful story in there somewhere and I found myself thinking more about that than I did Scott and Craig.

 
Alls well that ends well though, with the help of Karen; Craig plans something to prove his love to Scott when he gets home and even though there were a few bumps in the road, they get there in the end.
Overall, it was a short, friends to lovers’ story and I appreciate getting a chance to read it.

3 pieces of eye candy for me.

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deanna review

I love the friends to lovers scenario. It usually makes for a cute story and this is no exception.

Scott has been in love with his best friend Craig for years. Craig has a boyfriend, that we will forever refer to as Super Douche. Scott loves Craig from afar but it gets painful as Craig gets closer to Super Douche. Super Douche knows that Scott is in love with Craig and tries his best to hurt Scott at every turn.

Scott can’t take it anymore and takes an internship abroad to put some distance between him and Craig. Craig immediately realizes that he’s in love with Scott and that he has taken their relationship for granted. He sets out to woo Scott with a grand romantic gesture, hoping it isn’t too late.

At first I had a hard time keeping up, this story is told from three POV’s; Scott, Craig and Scott’s twin sister. I realize this is a new adult story, but Craig seemed really immature in the beginning. Then it was like a switch flipped, and suddenly he was in it for the long haul.

The story was cute and entertaining. Great for a quick read.

3 pieces of eye candy

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On Fire by Alicia Nordwell: Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

onfirefs_v1synopsis

Nothing beats getting out of the concrete jungle and into the quiet of the forest. Website designer Scottie Ness is taking a well-deserved vacation from the grindstone, and he plans to spend it in the solitude of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest around Mt. Adams. He’s prepared for everything—except the lightning storm that traps him in a wildfire.

The firefighter who rescues him sustains serious injuries and ends up in the hospital. Jax Quintero might be abrasive, but the guy saved his life, and Scottie wants to thank him. As they spend time together during Jax’s recovery and exploring the state’s landmarks when he’s released from the hospital, Scottie discovers there’s more to Jax than a smart-ass adrenaline junkie. Jax reassesses his opinion of Scottie as an arrogant city boy who has no business in the mountains. Though Jax’s wounds prevent them from taking things as far as they’d like for a while, they can’t deny the heat building between them—and this is one fire they don’t want to put out.

tco exclusive

Exclusive Excerpt  

Two days later, Scottie had done all the hikes close to his base camp, and he was ready to go farther afield. He went over his backpack once more, grabbing a few small bottles of water and two tubs of noodle soup. All his emergency supplies were still packed neatly, and he made sure to pack extra batteries for his camera and his GPS.

He tossed his bag and stove in the SUV, but left the rest of his camping gear. He hadn’t seen a soul since he left Trout Lake, so he wasn’t too worried about anyone coming across his camp and stealing his stuff. Right before he left, he remembered to toss the empty water container in the backpack to fill up on his way to the trailhead.

When he stopped to fill up the jug, nothing came out of the spigot in the turnoff. There was a white truck—not really white anymore—parked next to the bathroom. A guy in a pair of shorts and a polo came out. He held up one hand. “Hey.”

“Hi! Camping at the lake?” It was a pretty safe bet with the flip-flops he was wearing.

“Yeah. Not much lake to enjoy this year, though. Still busy enough I had to run the wife down here to this bathroom.”on-fire-pine-tree-ee1

Scottie nodded. “I stopped on my way up, and it looked pretty low. Still saw a fewpeople out on float tubes with trout poles.”

“I caught a six-inch rainbow this morning.”

“Nice.” Scottie kept his amusement to himself. He patted the water pipe. “Hey, do you know when they shut off the water?”

“Yesterday, I think.”

Damn. “Okay, thanks.” Good thing he always kept a filter in his gear. With the bottles he had and his full CamelBak, he should be fine for a few days. Scottie climbed in and started his car, waiting for the guy’s wife to come out and get in their truck before he drove off. No one liked choking on dust.

It took forty minutes to drive around to the base of the trail. There was a van already parked at the turnout. That type of vehicle usually meant berry or mushroom pickers. He’d probably have plenty of solitude once he got a good distance down the track. This hike had a big climb in elevation, so he also dug out his extendable walking stick.

He was right. About ten minutes up the trail, he found a large group of people spread out over the slope. They were yammering to each other, hands busily stripping the bushes of ripe berries. Scottie waved back when they waved at him, but he didn’t stop to chat.

The hike took the rest of the afternoon, but he stopped for several breaks as well as taking pictures. He drained his CamelBak, but luckily he’d found a flowing stream to refill it with his filter. He stopped for a snack on the top of one ridge, turning in a full circle. The path had become nearly nonexistent after it stopped at a meadow, victim to the lack of grooming. He spotted his stopping point and chose some landmarks to help him once he was back in the trees.

When he finally made his way out of the trees and into the meadow he’d chosen, Scottie was eager to get his pack off his back. There were a few different kinds of scat and a good-sized wallow along with scrapings about shoulder height on the saplings. If he was lucky, the elk would come in sometime during the late evening or morning. The scrape was high and fresh, and only elk would be rubbing off their velvet that early.

Scottie’s pack tent was low to the ground, just big enough for him and his backpack. He pulled out his pocketknife and cut several low-hanging pine branches. He rested them against the sides of his tent to help camouflage it.

After pulling up a patch of grass to make a small dirt circle, Scottie got out his pack stove, balancing it carefully as he filled the cup with water. He used a lighter to start the fuel, turning it up full blast to bring it to a boil. The sun was fading and the wind had picked up, so the cup of soup was welcome for warmth as well as filling the hole in his stomach. He made sure to bag his trash and put it all away.

The light left some interesting patterns of shadows, and he walked around the edges of the trees, trying to capture them. He found a stump and sat down, listening and waiting. Finally, he grew too cold sitting there, and it was gettinglate enough he needed to get back to the tent before it was too dark to see since he’d forgotten to grab his headlight.

Yipping coyotes didn’t sound too far off, but he wasn’t afraid of them. He rolled up his flannel for a makeshift pillow and stared out the mesh front of his tent, enjoying the shining stars between the gathering clouds. The moon hadn’t cleared the trees, but it had been full the night before, prompting him to spend the time to get shots of it over the span of several hours.

The combination of the short night’s sleep and the long hike wore him out, even though it was barely past nine. He blinked sleepily, taking a deep breath and letting it out long and slow. Not even the lump of dirt under his hip was enough to keep him awake.

Lightning flashed, and thunder rolled over the landscape. Scottie blinked, squinting when the lightning lit up the thick clouds again. There were only a few seconds between that and the boom and rumble, but it wasn’t raining.

A dry storm. Scottie debated getting up, but he wasn’t really set up to get lightning shots with his camera. Instead, he got out and covered the top of his tent with a tarp hung from the large trees surrounding him just in case it began raining. He hunkered down in his sleeping bag, squirming to get away from the lump, and enjoyed listening to nature’s display of violence.onfire_releasetourbanner

jennifer

Okay, first we have Scottie; businessman, city boy who gets a week vacation from work and decides to do what his family has always done and spend some time out in the wilderness. Hiking and camping and just getting away to the quiet of nature and take some pictures of the mountains, that’s his hobby and he’s quite good at it. He’s responsible about it as well, he leaves daily reports and checks in with park rangers and safety spots so that if he runs into any trouble, the correct people will know where he’s at and where he’s headed. Just in case.

What he wasn’t anticipating is a wild brush fire and it gets out of hand fast and he ends up getting injured. Meanwhile, Jax, firefighter and dude with a bad attitude thinks Scottie is just another amateur out on the mountains and he’s got to risk his life to try to save him…. And come on, dude… it’s your job… I didn’t care much for Jax in the beginning; I didn’t like the attitude he had or the way he treated Scottie, especially because, like I said, it’s his job and he takes great pride in it; so what’s the deal?

Scottie feels bad enough and takes it upon himself to visit Jax often in the hospital after he gets hurt during Scottie’s rescue and brings him gifts and finds ways to entertain him during his timely hospital stay. They get to know each other that way and then more and more as time goes on. I don’t wanna spoil too much of it, but their relationship progresses in a natural friends to lovers kind of way. It doesn’t take long because they’re attracted to each other from the beginning, there’s little to no angst and I liked that, I’m not big on angsty reads so this one was a good, light read with a few steamy encounters thrown in. It ends on a sweet note and it’s just the beginning for these two, I’m curious to see if there’s more in store for these two sometime in the future. This is the first book I’ve read from this author and it was just the kind of story I needed at the moment. Light, sweet and low angst.

4 pieces of eye candy for me

4-pieces-of-eye-candy

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meet the author

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she’s a MM romance author: “Why gay fiction? Why write men when you’re a woman?” and her answer is: “Why the hell not!” Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Social media:

Cia’s Stories: http://www.ciasstories.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicia.nordwell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliciaNordwell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4479520.Alicia_Nordwell

 

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Murmuration by TJ KLune: Release Day Review

murmuation

synopsis

In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.

The people here know certain things as fact:

Amorea is the best little town there is.

The only good Commie is a dead Commie.

The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.

And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.

Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.

But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls, and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.
Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves

Title: Murmuration
Author: TJ Klune
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Category: Science Fiction, Historical: Americas
Pages: 324

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jennifer

What the F?

Ok, so…. I’ve read all things T.J. and I’ve cried my eyes out to the point I made myself sick, with Jack and Jackie. I laughed til I made myself sick with “Tell Me It’s Real”… I did a little of both and then ended up smiling til my face hurt with BOTK and I’ve dabbled a little of a little of the in between. I’m not usually a fan of paranormal, I don’t read them, just not my thing, but it doesn’t matter what this author writes, I’ll be reading it.

This one though? This one had me scratching my head, my heart racing, me flippin’ pages like a crazy person and I think a couple times I even loudly said “whaaaaaaaaaaaat”? It was confusing and crazy and romantic and wonderful… it was so many contradictions all in one, I didn’t know what to do with myself at times but to shut up and keep reading. I’d love to go into detail and wax on and on about every little thing I found fascinating about this read, I want to spoil the crap out of it so you can understand my point of view with it all…. I guarantee it that you’ll have a different one, and the next person will have a different one…. That’s why it’s so amazing, in the craziest way… It was a mind-f for sure and I loved every second of it.

In the beginning I wasn’t sure what to think so I was just along for the ride, but every time I kept thinking of putting it down, I thought…. Just one more chapter because I have to see what that was all about… It was like, the movie Pleasantville with a whole lot of Twilight Zone thrown in. I loved how things went back to the days when “courting” was normal and slow and a simple touch or a kiss was thought on for an age before it happened. People were respectable and friendly; and I’ll even admit a bit creepy at times as well. Mike and Sean were perfect for each other; they had a very complimentary way about each other and it was like they fit together; and even though Mike wasn’t good at saying it, it was very much known how much he cared for Sean. I loved it, the way he fought to get back there; what all he had to do to get back there, it made that slow torment of courting worth it; it made me route for them, Mike especially. And that ending…. I found the excitement bubbling up in your throat a real and true thing because I wanted it so bad and I was so scared it was going to be another wake up moment and forget what we were just doing and where we were just at. I would have broken my kindle I think in the rage I would have felt for these fictional characters.

I know I read a lot of chatter about this book; I got hints from the author on facebook and little things here and there… I felt prepared for going into this one with an open mind and a readiness to get in deep into some head tripping… but nay… nay I tell you.. I was not ready.

Do not pass up this book, I dare you to try to explain it once you’re finished…. It will most definitely chew you up and spit you out, and then put you back together again all happy and hopeful. Genius!

5-pieces-eye-candy2

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Where We Left Off by Roan Parrish: Release Day Review

where-we-left-offsynopsis

Leo Ware may be young, but he knows what he wants. And what he wants is Will Highland. Snarky, sophisticated, fiercely opinionated Will Highland, who burst into Leo’s unremarkable life like a supernova… and then was gone just as quickly.

For the past miserable year, Leo hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the powerful connection he and Will shared. So, when Leo moves to New York for college, he sweeps back into Will’s life, hopeful that they can pick up where they left off. What begins as a unique friendship soon burns with chemistry they can’t deny… though Will certainly tries.

But Leo longs for more than friendship and hot sex. A romantic to his core, Leo wants passion, love, commitment—everything Will isn’t interested in giving. Will thinks romance is a cheesy fairy tale and love is overrated. He likes his space and he’s happy with things just the way they are, thank you very much. Or is he? Because as he and Leo get more and more tangled up in each other’s lives, Will begins to act like maybe love is something he could feel after all.

Title: Where We Left Off
Series: Middle of Somewhere: Book Three
Author: Roan Parrish
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 260

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jennifer
I was honestly so excited to read this book. My heart broke for Leo in Rex and Daniels book, (I’m still mildly obsessed with Rex) But, I just knew he’d have a good story and while there were parts I absolutely adored in this; there were also parts, more often than not that I couldn’t stand.
I thought Leo was a bit too desperate; he totally was a kid with his first crush. He was obsessed with Will and Will treated him so bad. I mean, yeah, he was honest about not wanting everything and Leo just hung on like a lost puppy. But Will was rude and hurtful, and very contradictory. He’d tell Leo he didn’t want him but then kiss him and let him stay with him and all that. The whole “I’m so hot and I hate it” thing was ridiculous… like, woe is me, everyone treats me so awesome because I’m so good looking and I don’t like that. Why can’t people see me as something other than gorgeous?? Are you serious with that? And all the while, Leo is still obsessing even though Will tells him time and time again that he isn’t interested. He invites himself over, he invites himself to stay for school breaks, he reminds me of a little kid who has no boundaries or self-preservation. Leo’s mind set is…. “If I’m around enough, he’ll fall in love with me.” That’s such a juvenile way to be, and that sucks because I felt like with the way Leo’s family was… he was truly just looking for someone to love him. He wanted the kind of love that Daniel and Rex have… He was a romantic at heart and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Will was selfish…. Period….He wanted what he wanted and got mad when Leo wanted a little more. THEN he got mad at Leo for leaving when he pushed him away. Are you kidding me? Leo says, it hurts to sleep with you while you sleep with other people, one of which I walked in on. It hurts to love you so much when you constnantly throw in my face that we’ll never be anything more than FWB, It hurts me too bad to call and talk to you or spend the night or hang out or whatever and it mean nothing to Will… but it does, doesn’t it? Of course it does but instead of Will telling Leo, he gets mad again that Leo just put the clue’s together and figure it out himself…. Mind….BLOWN….
I didn’t feel like Leo was asking for too much. I mean, he was clingy and needy and pushy, but Will could have ended it at any time but he didn’t. He liked Leo being around, he liked that Leo liked him, he even admitted it that. And Leo changed. He done anything he could to be what Will wanted. He accepted Will’s terms, he done things on Will’s agenda and everything was about Will, even though it hurt Leo to do it. He’d literally take any scraps Will was willing to give for as long as he wanted to… WHAT???? And THEN when we thought we might get a good ending, it’s a HFN because Will can only promise he’ll try to not sleep with other people…. I literally cried my eyes out when I read that. And Leo acted like it was amazing! Like, oh my goodness he’ll TRY to stop sleeping around for me!
He deserved more. Leo deserved so much more than what he got and even if I can understand why Will might be a little bit the way he was. It in no way excuses his hurting people; especially with someone whom he knows loves him. It was selfish and cruel and I really wanted to see more for them. I was disappointed in the ending, even Will’s declaration of a sort was rude and obnoxious because he was irritated at even having to do it…. Jeeez, what a jerk!
On a lighter note, I loved watching Leo grow up, he had his own friends who were great and treated him with respect and kindness. They were genuine and funny and were always there for Leo when he was off pouting about Will…I loved that he had them. I wouldn’t mind the twins getting a story and especially Milton and Thomas. Both of them would have cute stories too I bet as long as there was no one like Will anywhere around!
I loved the other two books in this story, like… especially Rex and Daniel’s one…. But, this one has me on the fence, I’m more of a miss with this one only because it didn’t seem like a romance to me. It was unrequited love at its finest until the end and then it’s only a very little bit requited and I wasn’t convinced. The writing was good though, very descriptive and imaginative. I enjoyed seeing Leo get to know New York and find himself. It became home to him and I was glad to see him belong somewhere. I also loved that Rex and Daniel were still very much there for him and was there for him whenever he needed them. Overall, it’s not a bad story, but I wouldn’t call it a romance and I wouldn’t say it has a HEA… more of a “Content for now” ending. I can’t even say Happy because in no way did Will ever seem happy about it.
3 pieces of eye candy

3-pieces of eye candy

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The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker : Quick Review

weight-of-it-allsynopsis

After being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of.
He joins a gym.
Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is.
As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamours Reed with recipes and laughter. As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him.
Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal bodyweight. It’s about finding your perfect counterweight.

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jennifer
I absolutely adore N.R. Walker’s books so when it came up for review, I almost wanted to beg for a chance at it. Fortunately, I didn’t have to lol. This story was incredibly sweet and I loved every second of it.
Henry was just dumped by his partner of 8 years because things had just got stagnant. Of course, the ex was rather rude about it saying Henry was old and fat; and at 35, he wasn’t old by any means but he was a bit overweight. It seemed like their relationship was over long before it actually was though and it was good that it ended. It left Henry feeling pretty sorry for himself though and he knew he needed a change. He was heartbroken and had low self-esteem, so he decided to join a gym. Good thing he did, that’s where he met Reed.
I loved Reed. He was patient and encouraging. He was such a good friend to Henry and the two of them were hilarious together. I mean, everything that came out of Henry’s mouth was hilarious, he literally made me LOL several times…. But their banter and flirty-ness, their friendship and the way they encouraged each other. That’s what I liked. They didn’t automatically jump into anything, they got to know each other and got comfortable with each other. Henry got to realize some things about himself and about his previous relationship that he needed in order to get over it and heal from it. He learned to accept himself the way he was accept that Reed liked him for who he was too.
They were seriously, so very perfect together. There wasn’t drama and angst in this book. There was no exes that came out of the woodwork and caused trouble or tried to be snarky and petty and mean. Although it was nice when they ran into him at the grocery store and he got to see how happy Henry was and how hot his new guy was…. That’s always satisfying lol , but even Henry was mature about it and it wasn’t about bitterness and hurt feelings, he was a good guy like that, and Henry just wanted him to be happy because, he, himself was happy….with Reed.
I also loved all the friends, Anika and her boyfriend Sean; Henry’s co-workers who were so supportive and nice and Reed’s best friend Emily… I wish we’d have gotten to meet Reeds mom, as she sounded like a nice lady and I also wish Henry’s mom would have gotten to meet George Clooney LOL, I can see where Henry gets his sense of humor and lack of flitter from.
Overall, I adored this entire story from start to finish. It was entertaining and hopeful and sweet. I wouldn’t mind reading more about these two and their crazy made family.
5 pieces of eye candy for me!

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.